In an interview with MUTV, Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he should never have let Dutch defensive rock Jaap Stam leave Old Trafford.
Stam was sold to Lazio under ambiguous circumstances in 2001, and a popular misconception of the affair is that Ferguson disposed of Stam due to a few damaging revelations exposed by the centre-half in his autobiography.
The truth is, Fergie had been crunching the numbers and concluded that his defensive focal point was not the same player since he came back from an achilles injury.
“When I think of disappointments, obviously Jaap Stam was always a disappointment to me, I made a bad decision there,” the Scot said.
Stam later wrote about the day he agreed to leave Manchester in another autobiography, emphasising his regret in letting it happen so easily.
“One quick conversation in my car at a petrol station in Manchester was enough for me to leave that big club,” Stam said.
“When I think about it now, and I have never talked about it before, I find it unbelievable I let that, as a player, happen to me.”
Fergie is releasing his much anticipated book today, My Autobiography. As well as shedding more light on the Stam-incident, it is expected to reveal details on Roy Keane’s departure, David Beckham and the flying boot affair, and perhaps even explain the signing of Portuguese flop Bebe.